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According to this link: here, nmap 5.2 onwards is now supposed to detect android smartphones. I am using nmap 6.01 but it only identifies android devices as running a linux kernel.

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2 Answers 2

I've used nmap extensively and while I've found it's in general pretty good at discovering the OS on server and desktop/laptop hardware it's pretty poor at detecting embedded and handheld kernels.

This is because quite frequently these systems are not listening on any ports, and it's the responses to TCP handshake process that gives the most OS detection information.

Without an open port all nmap has to work on is the response to closed ports and ICMP echo replies.

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i took a look at the nmap-os-db. very few of the android devices are actually listed there. maybe nmap detects those. Is it possible to use 'kismet' to do the same task of android network discovery? –  meghna Oct 18 '12 at 8:54
    
AFAIK Kismet, can't detect OSes, the best you might be able to do would be to use MAC addresses to determine manufacturers. Look at this site coffer.com/mac_find/?string=nokia for examples. It won't be 100% but it would probably get you pretty close. –  GdD Oct 18 '12 at 9:17
    
using android apps like Fing i am able to get the device manufacturers..dont need the MACs. –  meghna Oct 29 '12 at 10:07
    
do u have any idea if OMA DM will help me here? and the Avahi Daemon. just read these terms somewhere. i know i should research first before i ask. but too many leads..help would be great! –  meghna Oct 29 '12 at 10:12

From the nmap docs,

OS detection is far more effective if at least one open and one closed TCP port are found.

Nmap gets as close as it can from the ports it can see - so here it can see enough to know it is a Linux, but not enough to pin it down to a particular OS.

Have a read of this chapter to see all the identifiers nmap uses when trying to ascertain OS.

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